The Sandpiper Trust

The Sandpiper Trust is a Scottish-based charity whose aims are related to improving prehospital immediate care in remote and rural Scotland.

The Sandpiper Trust
Sandpiper trust logo.png
The current logo
Formation20 February 2001
Legal statusActive
PurposeThe advancement of health
  • Scotland
Region served
Penny Dickson, Aly Dickson, Claire Maitland, Caroline Ross-Stewart
AffiliationsBASICS Scotland Scottish Ambulance Service

History and OriginEdit

The Sandpiper Trust was founded in 2001 after the tragic death of a 14-year-old child called Sandy Dickson in an accident in 2000.[1] This accident highlighted to the founders (his family) that critical illness does not respect geography, and that an ambulance can not always be rapidly accessible when accidents occur in remote and rural areas.[2] This led to The Sandpiper Trust to provide life-saving emergency medical equipment (in the Sandpiper Bag) to rural clinicians. With the hope of enabling the provision of prehospital emergency care in situations where ambulance response times are long, or where the skills of a senior clinician (doctor, nurse or paramedic) may be a valuable augmentation to the statutory ambulance service, the Scottish Ambulance Service. The Sandpiper Trust also provides BASICS Scotland volunteer responders with the technology to connect them to the Scottish Ambulance Service despatch system, monitor their location for safety purposes, and allow communication with the ambulance control room and other emergency services. Currently a number of responders are provided with Airwave digital radios, while others have vehicle locator systems.

The Sandpiper Logo on a responder's jacket

Key individualsEdit

The Patron of The Sandpiper Trust since its inception has been Gavin Hastings[3][4] OBE. Hastings has hosted many events for The Sandpiper trust and continues to generously devote his time and energy to supporting the Trust.

The Trust has four trustees; Penny Dickson, Aly Dickson, Claire Maitland and Caroline Ross-Stewart. The trust also has two medical advisors, to ensure they are able to facilitate rural immediate medical care to the best of their abilities, these are; Drs Ewen McLeod and Ben Price.

Charitable objectivesEdit

The Sandpiper Trust has four core objectives. Firstly to work towards the relief of the suffering (from illness or injury) of people in Scotland through the provision of immediate medical care, secondary to facilitate the advancement of the study of immediate medical care through the provision of education and training across Scotland. Thirdly the provision of medical equipment to facilitate the first objective and finally, relieving human suffering through the promotion of medical research.[5]

BASICS Scotland Doctor equipped with a response bag and clothing from The Sandpiper Trust


The Sandpiper CookbookEdit

As part of their fund-raising activities, The Sandpiper Trust produced their own cookbook, compiled by Claire Maitland and published by Finks Publishing Ltd in 2009.[6] It includes recipes from a wide range of people including Gordon Ramsay, it also contains a number of cocktails (including Tiger Woods exclusive wedding cocktail) and unusually for a cookbook, essential emergency medical tips. It has received a number of 5 star reviews on Amazon.

The Swallow, The Owl and The SandpiperEdit

The Trust also produced this text in 2013, described as "A collection of thought provoking prose and poetry, to help provide comfort, strength and support during difficult times", and listed as a motivational self-help guide on Amazon. It is ranked at number 29 in the amazon best-sellers list for poetry anthologies.[7]

Other fundraising activitiesEdit

In addition to sales of these two books, The Sandpiper Trust also receives donations from organisations[8] and individuals, and in 2021 a Highlands family raised a significant amount for the charity through open water swimming.[9]

The charity also regularly runs charity auctions to raise money, and has been donated auction items such as handwritten lyrics from Annie Lennox,[10] luxury Scottish fishing trips,[11] and sculptures among other things.[12][13]

Work So FarEdit

The Sandpiper BagEdit

The Sandpiper Trust has developed the internationally respected Sandpiper Bag, which is used across Scotland by BASICS Scotland responders,[14] in Australia through the newly formed charity Sandpiper Australia[2][15] and is the official immediate car bag for the Faculty of Prehospital Care examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.[16] Each bag contains over 50 items of life-saving medical equipment. To date over 1,200 Sandpiper Bags have been distributed across Scotland and beyond.

Wildcat ProjectEdit

A pulse oximeter probe applied to a person's finger

The Sandpiper Wildcat Project was an research programme[17] focussing on saving lives after out of hospital cardiac arrest, through optimising the chain of survival in rural Grampian, Scotland.[18][19][20] The driving hypothesis being that providing enhanced training and equipment a team of community volunteer community responders, who are then targeted to areas where Scottish Ambulance Service response times can be prolonged would lead to earlier, effective resuscitation, hopefully resulting in improved patient outcomes.[21] The project won the Blue Light Hero award at the Pride of Aberdeen awards in 2017.[22][23]

COVID Pandemic ResponseEdit

In response to the COVID pandemic, The Sandpiper Trust distributed over 700 pulse oximeters to remote and rural GP practices throughout Scotland, to aid with the diagnosis of, and subsequent monitoring of patients affected by COVID-19. These have been used in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, Coll, Arran, Tomintoul, Killin, Callander, Strachur, Mull, Galloway, Kenmay, Skye and other practices throughout Grampian.[24]


  1. ^ "Sandpiper Australia – Supporting Pre-Hospital Care in Rural Australia".
  2. ^ a b Leeuwenburg, Tim (28 Dec 2019). "Sandpiper Australia - 2020 ahead". KI Doc. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  3. ^ Drysdale, Neil (9 Mar 2020). "The Big Interview: 'Slam was grand but it's still people who count'". Press and Journal. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  4. ^ "Sandpiper Trust – Saving lives in rural Scotland".
  5. ^ "OSCR | Charity Details".
  6. ^
  7. ^ " Best Sellers: The most popular items in Poetry Anthologies".
  8. ^ Andonova, Denny (6 Jan 2021). "North-east charity raises nearly £40,000 for life-saving service". Press and Journal. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  9. ^ Macaulay, Susy (11 Feb 2021). "Golspie family brave icy Sutherland waters in Sandpiper Trust fundraiser". Press and Journal. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  10. ^ Shepherd, Jordan (3 Oct 2018). "Annie Lennox donates handwritten lyrics of smash-hit to Aberdeenshire charity". Press and Journal. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  11. ^ Ramage, Tom (3 Dec 2020). "Online auction aims to save rural lives in Highlands". Strathspey Herald. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  12. ^ Newsroom, The (20 Jun 2010). "Fishing & Shooting: The Sandpiper Challenge". The Scotsman. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  13. ^ "[PDF] The Newsletter of The Sandpiper Trust - A Scottish Charity - Free Download PDF". SILO of research documents. 6 Sep 2016. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  14. ^ "Sandpiper Bag Holders – BASICS Scotland". BASICS Scotland. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  15. ^ "The Sandpiper Bag – Sandpiper Australia". Sandpiper Australia – Supporting Pre-Hospital Care in Rural Australia. 8 Dec 2020. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  16. ^ "Sandpiper Bags". The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care. 2 Feb 2015. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  17. ^ "Sandpiper WILDCAT project". Resuscitation Research Group. 27 Feb 2014. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  18. ^ "Plan to boost cardiac survival rates in Grampian". BBC News. 13 Apr 2015. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  19. ^ "'Wildcat' network to boost cardiac arrest survival rates". BBC News. 26 Feb 2015. Retrieved 4 Apr 2021.
  20. ^ "Wildcats are go!". Save a life Scotland. 29 Oct 2020. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  21. ^ Fickling, Keri; Clegg, Gareth; Jensen, Keith; Donaldson, Lorna; Laird, Colville; Bywater, Dave (2019). "PP22 Sandpiper wildcat project – saving lives after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in rural grampian". Emergency Medicine Journal. BMJ. 36 (1): e9.1–e9. doi:10.1136/emermed-2019-999.22. ISSN 1472-0205.
  22. ^ "Sandpiper Wildcat team win Pride of Aberdeen Award! – BASICS Scotland". BASICS Scotland. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  23. ^ "Life-saving Sandpiper Wildcat team scoops top accolade at Pride of Aberdeen awards". Evening Express. 20 Nov 2017. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.
  24. ^ "Sandpiper Trust – Saving lives in rural Scotland". Sandpiper Trust – Saving lives in rural Scotland. Retrieved 21 Mar 2021.

External linksEdit